In big corporates, preparations for an important presentation often start with one person preparing the template for the presentation, emailing it around to all relevant business units to be filled out. The final presentation design is simply a matter of slapping the filled in templates together into one big, boring, 30MB, 200 page, 10-hour slide deck.

I am repeating my hobby horse here, this presentation is the problem solving deck that contains all the relevant data. The challenge now is to distill from all that information a compelling story. And that story might well have a different structure/flow for each business unit.

So, my suggested process:
  1. Yes, create that template, send it out
  2. Create the monster file, clean it up
  3. Have a conference call with each of the business units about the data
  4. Then, give them freedom to express their story in their own way, with their own slides, within a strict time constraint
  5. Share the monster document as backup/bed time reading
The word template can have 2 meanings. One is the standard background layout of a slide (many use banners, logos, and other graphics, I mostly use a white page), and the second one is a series of tables and data charts without numbers and/or words in them. In this post I refer to the latter.